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Travel Insurance to China

China

China has the largest economy in Asia, coupled with advanced technology and industrial activities. Apart from its economic importance in Asia, it is a home to very rich cultural heritage and monuments like the great walls of China which stretches from Dandong to Lop lake, the forbidden city and many other tourist centers. Over 55.6 million people visit China for business and tourism annually, making it the third most visited country in the world.

Travelling to China for tourism or business involves certain levels of unpredicted circumstances that can be handled with a suitable travel insurance policy.

General Information about insurance to China

While travelling to China, foreigners may require one of several types of travel insurance policies which depends on the number of trips required within a year. The following types of travel insurance are:

  • Single Trip insurance:
  • Multi Trip insurance:
  • Family plan.

What options are included in the Travel insurance policy?

Apart from providing coverage for expenses on medical services, the travel insurance provides the opportunity to access other kinds of services that are not medically related, provided they are envisaged and included by the insured. These additional services exist as additional options for supplementing the insurance to a great extent. The inclusion of these options depends on the insured’s itinerary and risks envisioned before the scheduled trip. The options are divided into medical and non-medical options.

The travel insurance provides the coverage for medical expenses by default. These expenses could be as a consequence of acute illnesses, minor and fatal injuries sustained due to accidents during the trip.

The medical insurance provides coverage for the following cases below:

  • Medical Consultation: This option provides coverage for seeking the Physician’s advice, within an Authorized hospital belonging to the insurer’s network;
  • Medical prescription: The medical option covers the cost of obtaining prescriptions from either a general or specialist Physician in the authorized hospital;
  • However, it is expensive to obtain services from a medical specialist, and the premium for such services will be higher than the standard premium;
  • Ambulance support: Provides the insured with coverage for ambulance fees during emergencies. The medical insurance also provide air ambulance support in remote places with unfavorable terrain. It will require a huge premium to provide air ambulance support, this is because of the difficulties and expenses associated with arranging and procuring air ambulance services;
  • Repatriation: if the insured is seriously sick and cannot be treated in China, the medical option will provide coverage for the expenses associated with transporting the insured back to his/her country of residence;
  • Provision of pain relievers for dental injuries.

Certain unpredicted circumstances might prevent the insured from travelling to China on the scheduled date of departure. In such situations the trip cancellation option will cover the expenses associated with purchasing tickets for another trip. The following instance may necessitate the cancellation of a scheduled trip:

  • The insured might not be healthy enough to travel on the scheduled date, after acquiring the travel insurance policy;
  • The sudden illness and death of the insured’s immediate family member or relative;
  • The trip may be cancelled due to the occurrence of natural disasters like landslides, earthquakes or typhoons;
  • Sudden change of itinerary as a consequence of an unscheduled airline maintenance.

Note:
These events will be covered provided the following criteria as meet:

  • The insured includes this option in the travel insurance policy;
  • If these events occur after purchasing the insurance policy document;
  • The insured actually cancels the trip and provides proper documentations which indicates such cancellation.

This option covers the expenses and inconveniences associated with loss or damage of an insured traveler’s property, based on the terms and conditions stated in the insurance policy.

For instance, the insured may lose his or her valuable properties to theft or damages caused by fire or natural disasters. In such circumstances, the insurance company will provide compensation for these properties, by reimbursing the insured with the value of the missing properties, after deducting depreciation. Several insurance companies will not be responsible for providing compensation for any commercial properties.

Provided this option is included by the insured, it will facilitate coverage when the insured inadvertently inflicts damages or injuries to a third party. This option may also provide coverage when the insured is charged for misconducts at sacred places in China or unintentional damage of artifacts in museums. If the insured’s offence is trivial, the insurance company will negotiate on behalf of the insured, by providing the services of a competent legal practitioner. This will significantly prevent such situations from escalating into a full blown legal proceeding. It should be noted that, the insured may be responsible for paying remaining charges, especially if this charge exceeds the insured sum.

The travel insurance will cover the expenses associated with any case that may cause the delay or postponement of the insured tourist’s journey as a result of certain conditions, after acquiring a ticket to China. In the case of delays, the insurance will provide compensation for any inconveniences requiring accommodation, feeding and subsequent transportation required to proceed on a planned trip, provided the option is included and the insured documents these expenses. The insurance will cover or protect the insured from the following situations:

  • Delay for more than certain amount of hours for an initially booked transportation;
  • Cancellation of an initially purchased ticket;
  • Overbooking a previously booked transport.

If the insured intends to participate in certain kinds of exercises during the trip, it will be better to add the sport insurance option. For example swimming, climbing hills, playing cricket or football might warrant the addition of this option.

This insurance provides coverage for expenses associated with unexpected events that may confront the tourist while travelling to China or residing within the region during the trip. This particular insurance covers accidents that directly results in the following cases:

  • Death or permanent disability without pre-existing conditions;
  • Injuries like loss of limbs, loss of extremity or loss of sight;
  • Severe injuries.

In these events, the compensation provided by the insured will not exceed a certain percentage of the initial sum.

What are not covered by the insurance policy?

Insurance companies will deny coverage in the following cases:

  • The insurance company will not be responsible for covering medical expenses associated with cases of suicide or deliberate self-inflicted injuries;
  • False declaration of health status. If the insured provides wrong information about his/her health condition, the insurance company will refuse subsequent coverage. Hence, it is better to present valid information about insured’s health condition, even when these issues are confirmed after purchasing the insurance policy. For instance if the insured is diagnosed of a terminal illness that was not stated initially, the insured must inform the insurance company in order to prevent denial;
  • Pre-existing conditions are not covered by several insurers, and only a handful of these insurers would cover pre-existing conditions at a high premium;
  • Accidents caused as a result of drug abuse or excessive intake alcoholic products will be denied by the insurance company;
  • The insurance company will not be responsible for covering the expenses associated with treating menstrual abnormalities, impotency, birth control and artificial insemination;
  • Trips to regions of China experiencing natural disasters or epidemic outbreak may not be covered by the insurance company;
  • Travelling for the sole purpose receiving medical treatment will not be covered by the insurance company;
  • The insurance coverage will fail if the accidents are experienced as a result of your fault. For example, if you don’t pay attention to risk reports and updates provided by your insurer or Chinese local authorities.

Actions taken in times of distress

  • During emergencies or distress, the insured is expected to contact the insurance company’s customer care. The insurance customer care number is usually printed on the insurance document. The insured might not be with the contact details of the insurance company in distress situations. Therefore, the insured is advised to save these details to the telephone’s contact application or snap the page containing these contact details;
  • The insured shall narrate and explain all details and symptoms to the insurer’s customer care agent;
  • The agent will direct the insured to the address of the nearest recommended hospital within the insurer’s network;
  • Medical bills should not be paid without documented consent of the insurance company, unless the insured is in a critical medical condition requiring immediate remedy;
  • The insured must provide insurance card to the proper medical staff in the hospital, and consult the recommended physician;
  • The insured must go to the recommended pharmacy with the doctor’s prescription.

Note:
Store all relevant receipts, schedule dates and transportation documents indicating expenses on treatment, medicine, medical procedures, surgeries and transportation.

Emergency contact numbers in China

In times of distress, call the numbers listed in the below:

  • First Aid Ambulance - 120
  • Police - 110
  • Fire - 119
  • Traffic Accidents - 122
  • SOS in water - 12395

Safety

While travelling to China, it is recommended that the insured is vaccinated with the necessary vaccines before departing from country of residence.

Hepatitis B is acquired through contaminated body fluids like sweat, blood, infected objects like needles. This dreadful disease can also be acquired through unprotected sex. This health issue can be prevented by taking the Hepatitis B vaccine regularly, and by avoiding usage of unsterilized needles.

This disease is caused by intake of contaminated water and food. And as such, the CDC advises travelers who have not been vaccinated to get vaccinated, and eat and drink safely at China.

If the insured has not been vaccinated against polio, the polio vaccine is highly recommended for individuals travelling to China, especially if they will be travelling to places like Xinjiang in China. If the insured was vaccinated in the as a child, it is also necessary to take the booster dose, which is administered to adults once in a lifetime.

Another deadly disease that is caused by intake of contaminated food and water. Can be prevented by avoid the intake of contaminated food and water.

This is another deadly disease that is transmitted through animal bites. It is a viral disease found in cats, dogs, bears and other animals. The CDC recommends the Rabies vaccines for visitors intending to partake in several kinds of outdoor activities. If the insured will be camping, hiking, conducting wildlife research or participating in other adventurous activities, the rabies vaccine will be very important. The risk of having a Rabies infection is reduced by staying away from strange.

While travelling to China, it is advisable to take anti-malaria drugs and avoid mosquito bites by staying in clean environments. If the itinerary of the insured involves spending lengthy times outdoors, it is better to seek medical advice from the Physician before visiting China.

Note: The tap water in China is not drinkable. Hence visitors should drink water from sealed bottles, and avoid stale foods, unpasteurized dairy products, unwashed and unpeeled fruits.

Prevent bug bites by staying away from bugs, wearing long sleeves and pants, using insect repellent products.

China’s vast land mass predisposes it to having varieties of weather and climate in various places. The North-eastern part of China, experiences hot, dry summer and harsh winters with temperatures as low as 20֯ C. The central regions have slightly continual rainfall, temperate summers of 26 ֯ C and cold winters of 0 ֯ C. The southeastern region is characterized by substantial rainfall and humid condition, semi-tropical summer.

Disasters

China experiences flooding, landslides, typhoons and earthquakes of various magnitudes.

Flooding is experienced during the rainy seasons from April to June in southern and eastern regions of China. In the northern and western parts of China, rain falls occur from June to August, and in areas near the Yangtze River experience rainfalls from May to September. During these seasons, rural area close to the Yangtze River may experience flooding.

Areas with lots of mountain experience landslides in China. For instance mountainous areas in the southwestern regions of China experience landslides during the period of May to September, when the frequency of rainfall is very high. Some of these places include Sichuan provinces and Tibet.

China characterized by lots of seismic activities, as such places like Sichuan has experienced two accounts of earthquakes in recent years. In fact 13 tourist lost their lives to a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in August 2017 at mountainous region of Sichuan. Tourist are always advised to monitor weather reports and adhere to the authorities early warnings concerning natural disasters. For more updates on earthquakes, tourists should visit this link.

Typhoons occur during wet and rainy seasons of the year, usually from June to August at the southern and eastern coasts of China. In 2017 alone, southeastern China was hit by Hato, a destructive Typhoons in southern Guangdong province Macau and Hong Kong. 16 casualties were recorded.

Road Accidents statistics

The rate of China’s road traffic accident was 18.8 per hundred thousand inhabitant in 2013. In 2016 the World health Organization revealed that 206,000 casualties recorded every year as a result of road traffic accidents in China.

Terrorism

The rate of terrorism is low in China compared to other countries in Asia, and there has not been a recent terrorist attack in China, but according to uk.gov, possibilities of terrorist attack is high in places like Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region. Tourists should be vigilant during festive periods and consult their embassy sites for updates on possible terrorist activities. Over the past few years the following terrorist attacks were recorded in China:

Date
Place
Incident
2013
Tiananmen gate, Beijing
Five people were killed after a car drove into a crowd of tourists
2014
Railway station ,Southern Kunming
31 people lost their lives in a stabbing attack
September, 2015
coal mine in Aksu Prefecture
16 people died in a reported attack
28 December, 2016
A government Building at Xinjiang
One casualty was recorded in vehicle assault attack

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